Summerset purchases land for first Australian village

24 September 2019

Summerset, New Zealand’s fastest growing retirement village operator, today announced the acquisition of land for its first village in Australia.

The eight-hectare property is in Cranbourne North, an established suburb in the south-east of Melbourne. The site is located close to a number of shopping centres, a golf course, public transport and will be adjacent to a public reserve with walking tracks.

Summerset CEO, Julian Cook said the site was a good entry point for the company’s growth plans in Melbourne.  

“We have made clear our plans for Melbourne for some time now and believe this market is an attractive growth opportunity for us” Mr Cook said.

Mr Cook said Summerset’s solid reputation for vibrant living and high-quality care would stand the company in good stead in Australia and that Melbourne’s ageing population was underserved by quality retirement village and aged care offerings.

“Summerset will be introducing its continuum of care retirement village model to Victoria, which is not a common feature of many retirement villages there. Our research indicates that there is strong demand for this style of village.,” said Mr Cook.

“This site is well located with amenities close by, it is adjacent to a public reserve and there is a strong population catchment. Village design is progressing and we plan on including a signature main building along with a number of single-level villas.”

Mr Cook also noted that the Melbourne residential property market was starting to recover after a period of decline, “over the last three months residential prices in Melbourne have started to increase following around 12 months where prices declined approximately 11%. The demand for our retirement living and aged care is not driven by the residential property market; however, the stabilisation of the residential housing market does mean we are entering the market at a good point in the property cycle.”

Summerset began operations 22 years ago and is now firmly established in New Zealand with 28 villages completed or in development and a further 10 sites for future villages.

“Summerset started out as a family business. As we’ve grown we have stayed true to the values of our founder. We put residents at the heart of everything we do in New Zealand and we plan to do exactly the same in Australia.”

Summerset Chairman, Rob Campbell, said “the Board is pleased to have made this step after a lengthy period of investigation. This site represents the next stage in Summerset’s ongoing growth as a business.”

The site acquisition and subsequent development will be funded from existing bank facilities.

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